Keynote Speakers



Wednesday 27 November
Thursday 28 November
Friday 29 November 



The University of Melbourne
Sidney Myer Asia Centre
761 Swanston St, Parkville, VIC


About the Keynote Speakers


Director, Cromach Careers

SESSIONS: Wed 27 - Masterclass 2, Thu 28 - Keynote 2, Fri 29 - Workshop 3

Col McCowan OAM is a registered psychologist, teacher and counsellor who worked for Education Queensland for 20 years in a range of positions including; guidance counsellor, resource developer, curriculum developer, training officer, and principal policy officer. He became an academic and then manager of the highly successful Careers and Employment Service for 15 years at the Queensland University of Technology. He has won numerous national/international awards including the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to the career industry in Australia. He works as a consultant for organisations such as UNESCO, UNDP, NICEC, ADB, AusAID, and in a pro-bono capacity, for the countries of Bhutan, India, Mongolia, Oman, Thailand, UAE, and Vietnam. He has authored/co-authored a number of career-related books and research articles and recently documented his practical work for these countries in the book, Introducing Career Education and Development: A guide for personnel in educational institutions in developed and developing countries.


Associate Professor, School of Education, The University of Queensland

SESSIONS: Wed 27 - Masterclass 1, Fri 29 - Workshop 4

Dr Mary McMahon is an Honorary Associate Professor in the School of Education at The University of Queensland. With a background in secondary school education and career guidance, Mary has worked in the field of career development for over 30 years. She is the developer and co-author of the internationally recognised Systems Theory Framework of Career Development which takes a holistic ‘individual in context’ view of career development. A focus of her work has been the application of systems thinking and systems mapping to career theory, research and practice. Mary researches career development across the lifespan and narrative and systems approaches to career counselling and qualitative career assessment. Mary is particularly interested in the career development of children and adolescents and how career education can support them. She is also interested in assisting school personnel develop skills and knowledge in career education.


Assistant Secretary, Department of Employment, Skills, Small & Family Business

SESSIONS: Thu 28 - Update 2

Ivan Neville is the manager of the Labour Market Research and Analysis Branch in the Australian Government Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business (formerly the Department of Jobs and Small Business). Ivan leads a team that undertakes in-depth analysis on a range of Australian labour market issues, including identifying the current and future demand for skills; understanding recruitment issues and what employers are looking for; and helping job seekers prepare for the changing world of work. Ivan has had an extensive career in a range of labour market research, statistics and policy roles in a number of government organisations. Ivan is regularly asked to provide his unique perspective on the ever evolving labour market story and he delivers presentations both nationally and overseas.


SESSIONS: Wed 27 - Keynote

Ben lost his eyesight when in year 10.

This allows him to connect deeply with students to motivate, inspire and transform.

As a professional, motivational speaker who is only in his early twenties, Ben has a unique ability to make a connection with students where they are on the same page. Ben strives to inspire, motivate and empower school communities with his messages of True Vision and Limitless Vision and uses his youth to act as a role model for the students and a bridge to the students for the teachers


Professor, University of South Australia

SESSIONS: Wed 27 - Masterclass 3, Thu 28 - Keynote 1, Fri 29 - Workshop 10

Professor Nancy Arthur joined UniSA in February, 2019 in the role of Dean: Research & Innovation in the Division of Education Arts & Social Sciences at the University of South Australia. Prof Arthur holds a BA (Hons) majoring in Sociology (Waterloo), a Masters in Sociology (Alberta), and Masters and PhD degrees in Counselling Psychology (Calgary). As a former Canada Research Chair at the University of Calgary, Prof Arthur’s research focused on how professionals respond to global forces in the work environment, and how professionals are educated to adapt to shifting roles and responsibilities in our global society. Her current research program includes investigations of the ways that people manage international transitions in living, learning, and working across cultures. Prof Arthur’s recent edited books include Counseling in Context: Identities and Social Justice (Springer) and Contemporary Theories of Career Development: International Perspectives (Routledge). Prof Arthur currently leads the Transforming Societies strategic research theme at UniSA.


Executive Director, Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA)

SESSIONS:  Thu 28 -Workshop 4, Fri 29 - Keynote

David is the current Executive Director of  the Career Industry Council of Australia. He has more than 20 year’s experience working
in the career development industry and is
recognised nationally and internationally for
the knowledge and expertise he brings to
the field. He is a passionate advocate and
contributor to improving quality and access
to career development services in Australia
including the development of professional
standards, quality frameworks, online
services, practitioner registration, workforce
career development and a range of national
career development initiatives. David has
and continues to be a member and active
contributor to a broad range of government
and corporate consultative and advisory
bodies in the area of career development,
employment and workforce development. 

With thanks to the 2019 CEAV Conference Sponsors - for more information about our sponsors, please visit the 'Sponsors Page'